Killer whales, also known as orcas, are perhaps the most widely recognized type of whale in the world. With their distinctive black-and-white coloring, tall dorsal fins, and reputation as top predators, most people know what an orca is and how they live – or do we? There is a lot more happening beneath the waves than first meets the eye. The MidCoast Watersheds Council invites the public to attend a presentation by Colleen Weiler on Orcas of the Oregon Coast and their connection to our watersheds on January 10th, 2019 at 6:30 PM in Newport. The meeting will be held in room 205 (upstairs) at the Newport Visual Arts Center at Nye Beach, 777 NW Beach Dr., Refreshments will be served.
Orcas aren’t just the “wolves of the sea,” they live in incredibly close family groups, have lifespans similar to ours, and are one of the best examples of culture in non-human society. The critically endangered Southern Resident orca community, a unique population that lives off the west coast of the U.S. and Canada, faces threats from fundamental changes to their ecosystem, most vitally the decline of salmon throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada. How are these orcas connected to Oregon, and why are healthy rivers and watersheds essential for their continued survival?
Colleen Weiler is the Rekos Fellow for Orca Conservation at Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). Her work is to identify effective conservation strategies and protective measures for orca populations around the world, primarily focused on orca populations of the Eastern North Pacific and especially the critically endangered Southern Resident orca community. WDC works globally through campaigns, lobbying, advising governments, conservation and field projects, educational outreach, legal advocacy, and more to develop science-based, ecosystem-wide solutions for protection and recovery of orcas. Colleen earned a Master of Science in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University and has been active in the marine mammal field for over a decade, in a variety of roles – from rescue and rehabilitation to fieldwork, policy, and conservation. She has lived and worked in Oregon for 11 years, after giving up on ever seeing a whale in the Great Lakes of her home state of Michigan.
A MidCoast Watersheds Council Board meeting will follow the presentation and refreshment break. Agenda: Financial report, Restoration Report, Technical Team report, Administrative Team report and action items.
Join us to learn more about how Oregonians can help save one of the most endangered whale populations in the world. We hope to see you on Thursday, January 10th at 6:30 at the Newport VAC.